IPSWICH rail commuters were promised a more customer focused passenger service after the official split of Queensland Rail yesterday.
QR National, the new name for Queensland Rail's coal and freight haulage operations, will be privatised by the State Government at the end of the year.
The new passenger arm, which was launched with a train from Ipswich to Brisbane yesterday, will retain the Queensland Rail name but will be run differently to the previous passenger model.
Sporting a new logo and livery for its trains, it will remain a government-owned corporation.
Transport Minster and Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan said the new Queensland Rail (QR) would run both the trains and tracks on the passenger network – a responsibility that was formerly run by separate bodies.
“For much too long passenger services have been lost in a really enormous corporation,” she said.
“From today we can say that this organisation is totally focused on customer service and maintaining the track network.”
Robert Dow from commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track agreed the new structure would lead to better customer service for train passengers.
Mr Dow also said two new peak hour services on the Ipswich line – specifically a service departing Central station, Brisbane, at 4.28pm and arriving at Ipswich at 5.22pm – was a huge win for commuters. But Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Owen Doogan said yesterday's split was bad news for workers at the now workshops at Redbank.
“There's been a reorganisation of a government-owned company, but it's still all in government hands, and we'll fight to keep it that way,” Mr Doogan said.
“We'll be organising activities to protest against the decision to privatise parts of QR.”
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